Bahrain

Membership: Associate Member Total Population: 1.344 Million GDP: $33.87 billion Year Launched: 1960 Language : Arabic

Citizens' right to healthcare

Under Article 8 of Bahrain’s constitution, all citizens are guaranteed access to health care. To date, the government has funded the provision of comprehensive health services for all nationals and subsidized the cost of care to foreigners residing in-country. Bahrain is transforming their national health services systems into social health insurance arrangements. The Supreme Council of Health, established in 2012, is focused on developing the strategic plan and goals for both private and public aspects of the health care sector. One of the responsibilities is the major health sector reform plan, the National Social Health Insurance Project which lays down the policy for health financing of services.

The Context

Under Article 8 of Bahrain’s constitution, all citizens are guaranteed access to health care. To date, the government has funded the provision of comprehensive health services for all nationals and subsidized the cost of care to foreigners residing in-country. Bahrain is transforming their national health services systems into social health insurance arrangements. The Supreme Council of Health, established in 2012, is focused on developing the strategic plan and goals for both private and public aspects of the health care sector. One of the responsibilities is the major health sector reform plan, the National Social Health Insurance Project which lays down the policy for health financing of services.

Key Reforms

Historically, progress in Bahrain’s healthcare sector has been accomplished through improved access to primary and secondary healthcare services and the development of a robust healthcare infrastructure. Recent developments in the government’s healthcare reform initiative include the accreditation of the Ministry’s primary healthcare facilities and Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) and psychiatric hospital by Accreditation Canada; the near completion of King Hamad General Hospital (KHGH), which will provide secondary and tertiary services to the public and is a welcomed and long overdue prospect for improving accessibility to healthcare services; and the establishment of the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA), which will license all healthcare professionals and regulate private and public healthcare facilities in Bahrain.